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Fmr. DCF Commissioner Olga Roche Remains with the Agency

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The embattled former Commissioner of the Department of Children and Family Services may have resigned on Tuesday, but she’s still on the job and getting paid.

Olga Roche’s tenure as Commissioner of DCF lasted only a year – after the agency was pummeled with scandals and charges of gross mismanagement.

In December, DCF officials admitted that they had lost track of a Fitchburg preschooler, whose body was found April 18 by the side of a highway in Sterling.

More recently, the agency acknowledged it misplaced a fax sent April 3 from police warning of possible harm to a 1-month-old infant. That infant later died.

Also recently, a newborn died after her family missed a scheduled visit from DCF.

So after mounting pressure, Roche stepped down two day ago, but Thursday, we learned she will remain at the DCF – at least for awhile.

And according to WFXT-TV, she will continue to earn her salary as former Commissioner: nearly $138,000 a year.

Through it all, one of her biggest supports has been Governor Patrick. He was here in Springfield today and we asked him about it.

“She’s left the Commissioner’s role. She remains in an advisory role because she has an extraordinary amount of substantive experience and understanding of social services, some 30 years in the field, and she’s going to serve in that role for the Secretary and for the Acting Commissioner for a period of time, Actually, I don’t know what that period of time is,” Patrick says.

Patrick appointed longtime state transportation official, Erin Deveney, to replace Roche as Acting Commissioner of DCF, despite the fact she has no experience in child welfare issues.

A search for a permanent replacement is underway.

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